I have written to both my Senators and my congressman and asked them to investigate human rights abuses by the Co$ and to question the religious status of this BUSINESS.
I intend to write them letters regularly on this topic, as I do about the war in Iraq and the human rights violations that are going on in Darfur.
Here,s my response to your collective letter writing campaign. I actually attempted to go down this rather tried and true venue.EACH and EVERY letter directed to a government entity was read and responded too. EACH and EVERY response was cordial, YET SAID OR DID NOTHING.
What did get responses were FACE TO FACE MEETINGS with government officials. If you want to be true ,IMHO to your convictions,Go to these Government agencies which you write to. Follow up your letter writing campaign with MEETINGS with your STATE and FEDERAL officials. You would be pleasantly surprised at the responses garnered via FACE to FACE meetings.
Letter writing opens doors. Once those doors are opened, men and women of conviction enter. Os/Smitty are you 2 men/women of CONVICTION? Will you walk thru that door?
This is right on, Gumby. There is a progression, at least in my mind, first you write the letters, and if applicable collect signatures on petitions, then you start making calls and trying to get a face to face with the staffers, and if you are lucky, eventually you get to the congressman.
One good barometer is Senator Barbara Boxer of California. She has a very efficient staff and has a number of detailed responses that go out as form replies on popular subjects. She regularly updates them as the situations change. My letters to her on the Co$ still generate only a generic form reply, indicating that the Co$ is not really on her radar yet. That suggests to me that we have not written enough letters and haven't shown the numbers. Ten letters each from Os and I will not be seen in the same light as twenty letters from twenty constituents, and any time we have been to see our congressional reps or their staff, our names and addresses have been taken. The are very meticulous about separating issues that concern a number of people apart from cranks and real bigots who just raise the same issue over and over. Numbers speak; when the staffers get to the point that they regularly see correspondence on the same subject, being complaints about the Co$, they'll go to the boss and tell her that this issue needs to be addressed. She and Sen. Feinstein both have local offices here in BFE, I doubt they visit them very frequently, but it is possible to get a face to face with a staffer, even here in the sticks.
In addition to pointing out that the Co$ is a business scam and not a religion, when I write, I raise the issue of human rights violations and give them links to specific sites as reference. This is where being a wog hurts me. I can only say what I believe and point to stories (hearsay) that alarm me. This is where the former members are important; one first hand account trumps a ton of hearsay. This is why we worry about people like Tory losing their voice. Things like the Lisa clause need to be exposed. They are, in my opinion, illegal because you cannot have a contract to engage in an illegal activity. I really don't expect my senators and representatives to introduce a bill. I don't think that laws need to be changed, I only think that the Co$ needs to be exposed for what it is and treated accordingly. I think that the best effort of our elected reps would be to go to the attorney general and the IRS and ask for in-depth, undecover investigations of this colossal fraud. Those two horns; the justice department and the IRS should be the horns of our "beast", upon which we impale the Co$.
I do like Ossie's idea of targeting one day and having everyone write their senators and elected reps on the SAME DAY to show them that this is an issue with a large following and a high level of interest. Use the hand delivered letters on congress.org. You can write to both your senators and your rep for about the cost of a decent Guy Fawkes mask or a t-shirt. If you can't afford that, you can e-mail them through the congress.org site for free. It is a legal variant of a DoS attack, directed at people who can make a difference. I only say this; avoid form letters at all cost. You pick the day, any day and we will join and proudly support you by adding our letters to all of yours. A mass 'write-in' like this may even generate some mainstream media coverage. Call it cyber-picketing if you like. And don't write to committee chairs or people like Nancy Pelosi, write to the reps you yourself vote for and can vote against, because they do check to make sure that you are a constituent. Congress.org will identify your individual rep by just plugging in your zip code.